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MYSEUM:CONNECTS / Documenting Diverse Histories

Documenting Diverse Histories

This panel discussion explores the role of institutional and community archives, taking a hard look at the gaps that exist when it comes to preserving the history and heritage of diverse communities who aren’t typically acknowledged in Toronto’s history.


With so many rich histories from culturally diverse communities flowing through Toronto, how do we ensure that these important histories are collected, shared, and even documented? Whose responsibility is it to acknowledge these stories and give them a home?

If you are interested in learning more about archiving and the role that archives play, want to learn about documenting community stories as an archivist, a student in archival, museum, information, or library studies, or just acknowledge the importance of this dialogue, then join Myseum of Toronto for Myseum Connects: Documenting Diverse Histories.

This panel discussion explores the role of institutional and community archives, taking a hard look at the gaps that exist when it comes to preserving the history and heritage of diverse communities who aren’t typically acknowledged in Toronto’s history.

Panelists include: Ananya Ohri (Artistic Director, Home Made Visible), Desmond Wong (Librarian, OISE), Jennifer Aja Fernandes (Community Outreach Coordinator, The ArQuives), and Rebecka Sheffield (Senior Policy Advisor, Archives of Ontario).

Moderated by Howard Tam (Urban Planner, and Founder of the Dragon Centre Stories Commemoration Project).

The panel discussion will be followed by a chance to mix and mingle with the panelists and others in attendance.

Special thanks to the City of Toronto Archives for generously offering the use of their venue for this important dialogue.


Portrait of Jennifer Aja Fernandes

Jennifer Aja Fernandes

Jennifer Aja Fernandes is the Community Outreach Coordinator with The ArQuives, Canada’s LGBTQ2+ archive. They hold a BA from McGill University, and they have experience in the working in the arts, community health care, and the LGBTQ2+ community. Jennifer Aja is a connector and networker, and enjoys creating community, sharing access and education, and supporting positive spaces. Their work in outreach at The ArQuives is focused on making the space and items donated and collected more inclusive of our communities and creating space for BIPOC communities within The ArQuives.

Ananya Ohri headshot

Ananya Ohri

Ananya Ohri is a curator, researcher and arts administrator. For the last 7 years, she was the Executive Director at the Regent Park Film Festival, and most recently the Artistic Director of Home Made Visible, an archival project celebrating the history and joy of IBPOC families.

Portrait of Rebecca Sheffield

Rebecka Sheffield

Rebecka Sheffield is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Archives of Ontario and a member of the Recordkeeping Strategies Unit. She has taught at Simmons University’s School of Library and Information Science, Boston, and at the University of Toronto iSchool. She has previously served as Executive Director of The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ+ Archives, where she began as a volunteer archivist in 2007. Rebecka holds a graduate degree in information studies with a specialization in archives and records management. She completed a PhD at the University of Toronto’s iSchool in collaboration with the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. Rebecka’s forthcoming book, Documenting Rebellions: A Story of Four Lesbian and Gay Archives, will be published by Litwin Books in early 2020.

Portrait of Desmond Wong

Desmond Wong

Desmond is a settler librarian living and working on Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation land. Although he is currently a librarian, he was previously an archivist at the Archives of Ontario. His work and research focuses on examining colonial biases against Black, Indigenous and People of Color as well as making library and archive work deserving of these voices and stories.


Portrait of Howard Tam

Howard Tam, MSc.,BASc.

As Founder and Principal at ThinkFresh Group, a city building consultancy, Howard has worked with government and private sector clients in Canada to facilitate and design strategies that create urban spaces with amazing human experiences. Major projects have included the Honest Ed’s Micro-Retail Incubator and the Dragon Centre Stories Commemoration Project, both in Toronto.

Please Note:
-This venue is wheelchair accessible.
-If you require any additional assistance, or require additional accommodation(s), please email and we will do our best to accommodate.
-In case of any changes or cancellation we will notify you via email well in advance.
-If you are taking TTC, the City of Toronto Archives are located off of Spadina Avenue, just North of Dupont Station.
-Photography will be taken at this event.


Documenting Diverse Histories

23 Oct 2019


City of Toronto Archives – Atrium
255 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 2V3

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